The Great Generator Project of 2007

The generator project is near its conclusion. Friday we finished up the installation and rewiring 15 circuits from the house to be protected by generator whenever main power fails. This can happen manually, or automatically whenever the transfer switch senses loss of external grid power. The system tested out quite well, and currently it’ll self-test once a week whenever I’ve got the system on automatic.

There’s a couple of followup items, however. I need to move the propane tank a bit further away to be perfectly in code; that’ll happen fairly soon after we figure out a plan for moving the thing (it’s nearly full and darned heavy). In order to do the rewiring we had to peel away drywall around the main and sub breaker panels, so I need that replaced and those walls repainted — not a big deal. I also need to re-drywall the deck room/exercise room, after this fall’s freeze and subsequent frozen plumbing removal.

The big one is that I discovered that my previous electrician ran my new office outlets (2 blocks of 4) off a circuit which already had most of the upstairs lights, and that the circuit is only 15A, not 20. This isn’t causing major issues on a regular basis (we measured the draw), but at startup for my office UPS and the laser printer (while the lights are on, etc) is enough to cause transient voltage drops (the UPS logs an event). So we left one circuit free on the generator panel, and in the next few weeks we’ll rewire my office to a new 20A circuit and leave the old 15A circuit to simply run the upstairs overhead lights, which is what it’s designed to do in the first place.

In terms of house projects, there’s always more to do, especially when you first buy a house and try to rectify things you don’t like (or weren’t done well to begin with). But I’m hoping for a respite after I get the drywall fixed and the circuits split off. The phone wiring is pretty antiquated and nasty, but it’s not a critical issue. I can’t stand the countertops in the kitchen — sort of a mottled 80’s with a hint of purple, gah! — but they can wait. So drywall, finish the electrical, put up more bookshelves and finish unpacking the books to free up the garage, and I’m taking a break. There’s work to be done at school, after all!


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